It’s about the midpoint of summer and we’ve already seen our fair share of box office hits, surprises, and flops. We’ve also got another two months of summer movie watching ahead of us, starting with July’s bountiful selection.

While there may not be an Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel-sized release this month, there are still plenty of films to get excited about. Audiences will be lining up to see everything from giant robots to elderly spies, but the return of a certain mutant is likely the month’s most anticipated film.

Here are the 7 movies we’re looking forward to in July 2013.

July Movie Preview Lone Ranger 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp stuck box office gold with The Pirates of the Caribbean, and since then the two have collaborated every few years on both sequels and original features. Their latest collaboration, The Lone Ranger, is an updated version of the popular TV (and radio) series from the ’50s, which featured a masked vigilante (Armie Hammer) who partners up with a Native American named Tonto (Depp).

While the premise is basically the same, a Texas Ranger is left for dead and Tonto helps him bring his brother’s killers to justice, this is certainly not your parent’s or grandparent’s Lone Ranger. Just one look at Depp’s interpretation of Tonto could tell you that. Some have already written the film off based on the trailers and marketing, but if there’s one thing we know, it’s never to count out the star power of Johnny Depp.

Check out the trailer for Lone Ranger.

July Movie Preview Pacific Rim 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

From the moment footage of Pacific Rim debuted at last year’s Comic-Com, many felt director Guillermo del Toro’s latest creation might just be his best. After all, is there anything more exciting than watching giant robots (called Jaegers in the film) fight giant monsters for two hours?

But beyond the giant robots fighting giant monsters premise, there’s a lot more to Pacific Rim. For example, the pilots of the giant robots are psychically linked, meaning they share memories and past experiences. It’s ideas like that – taking a simple premise and making it complex – that del Toro is known for, making each of his films engaging on both a visceral and a mental level. Even if it wasn’t for a certain mutant, we might peg this as an easy favorite for most anticipated film of the month. Not to mention the film is already generating positive word of mouth.

Check out the trailer for Pacific Rim.

July Movie Preview The Conjuring 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

Horror fans will want to take notice, because The Conjuring has hit written all over it. Directed by James Wan (SAW, Insidious), the film is already receiving rave reviews, which, in horror terms, means it is genuinely scary. We didn’t expect anything less from Wan, but it’s comforting to know he still has it. Not to mention the film has a pretty solid cast.

Many might recognize the film as “the one with the clapping,” but it’s actually based on a true story. Two paranormal investigators, also a couple, were sent to check out a family farm and found more than they bargained for. Strange things start happening, couples scooch closer to each other, and that’s all that really matters in the end. 2013 has been a good year for horror/suspense films, and The Conjuring looks to keep things going.

Check out the trailer for The Conjuring.

July Movie Preview RIPD 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

Yes, R.I.P.D. is basically Men in Black with ghosts, but like that 1997 film, this one will succeed or fail based on the chemistry between its two leads. That isn’t to say the film’s concept – ghost cops hunting ghost criminals – doesn’t have potential, but buddy cop films (of any kind) are only as good as their grizzled veteran (Jeff Bridges) and wise-cracking rookie (Ryan Reynolds).

On paper, a Bridges/Reynolds collaboration sounds like a hit, but we’re unsure about this one. Early trailers for the film have rendered an mostly negative response, and things haven’t changed much since. Not to mention, the film is releasing at a time when niche action films can get lost in the shuffle. R.I.P.D. could easily disappear almost as fast as it appeared, but we’re cautiously optimistic.

Check out the trailer for R.I.P.D.

July Movie Preview Red 2 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

Despite a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), the original RED wasn’t an outright hit with critics. Nevertheless the star-studded action film went on to gross almost $200 million at the box office, and so Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich have returned for RED 2. They’ve also traded the relatively quiet month of October (when the original RED released) for the much more crowded summer, which will presumably make it harder for RED 2 to duplicate its predecessor’s success.

This time around, Willis and his band of retired, but still extremely dangerous, spies have brought Anthony Hopkins into the fold, as Willis’ character attempts to stop a nuclear weapon. But really, the plot is inconsequential with a cast this talented. The first film didn’t shy away from poking fun at the ages of its leads, and we hope that continues with RED 2.

Check out the trailer for RED 2.

July Movie Preview The Wolverine 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

James Logan is leaving his past in the past, and moving forward with The Wolverine. Rather than a prequel to the original three X-Men films, The Wolverine visits the titular character after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand. Logan has ended up in Japan (an iconic location from the comics) and he finds himself presented with a cure for his mutant ability.

While the character took quite the critical beating after The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there’s still something compelling about Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the character. So much so, that we’re willing to give him another shot. This film appears to be much darker in tone and chooses to explore a side of the character audiences have yet to see. At the same time, if the film doesn’t do well at the box office, this could be the last Wolverine solo film we see.

Check out the trailer for The Wolverine.

July Movie Preview The To Do List 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

We wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of The To-Do List, but that could change in a few short weeks. The film could also come and go faster than you know it, like many R rated indie comedies tend to. Nevertheless, we’re putting The To-Do List down in the “potential sleeper hit” category based on the overwhelmingly positive buzz it has been receiving from festival crowds.

For those that might not know, the film stars Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation) as a straight-A high school student who hopes to become more sexually experienced before heading off to college. As a result, she creates a to-do list of all the sex acts she wants to try before the summer is over. In other words, it’s like a female version of America Pie…only raunchier (or so we hear).

Check out the trailer for The To-Do List.

Pacific Rim Poster1 7 Movies Were Looking Forward To: July 2013

The success of July’s films is tough to predict, with a lot of the releases toeing the line between potential hit and potential flop. The comic book adaptations are well represented with The Wolverine, R.I.P.D., and RED 2. And even though it’s not based on a comic book, Pacific Rim has already drawn quite the following. There’s also a highly anticipated animated sequel – Despicable Me 2 – for families to enjoy.

In fact, July might be the month that a lot of our readers spend the most time at the movies. The only question is whether they’ll come away from those theater experiences happy.

Which films are you looking forward to this month? Do you think any of the July releases have a chance at surpassing Iron Man 3‘s box office records?

Again, here are the 7 movies we’re looking forward to in the month of July:

  • July 3rd: Lone Ranger
  • July 12th: Pacific Rim
  • July 19th: The Conjuring, R.I.P.D., RED 2
  • July 26th: The Wolverine, The To-Do List